Hugo Chavez was re-elected as President of Venezuela with 55% of the vote to 44%
He won over 8.1m votes, which is a record number of votes received by any candidate in Venezuelan history.
Hugo Chavez won in 22 of Venezuela’s 24 states including in Miranda, the state governed by his main election rival Henrique Carpriles Radonski.
The election saw the highest turnout in Venezuelan history with 81 per cent voting.
The 11% margin of victory is a landslide. For example, since the Second World War only 2 UK General Elections have produced a wider winning margin and only 4 US presidential elections have done so.
It appears that support is growing faster for Hugo Chavez than for the right-wing opposition coalition. Since the last election in 2010, Hugo Chavez’s coalition of supporters has added 2.3m votes whilst right-wing coalition added 1.2m votes.
A FREE AND FAIR ELECTION
This was the fifteenth election since Hugo Chavez first came to office in 1999. There have been more sets of elections since then than in the proceeding 40 years of Venezuelan democracy.
During the election campaign former United States President Jimmy Carter said “the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world". He added that Hugo Chavez has always won “fairly and squarely”. Carter won a Nobel prize for his work with the election-monitoring Carter Centre.
The head of the observer mission of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Carlos Alvarez, stated that “the electoral system is reliable and the process was excellent”.
The Venezuelan right-wing opposition coalition has recognised the election results
CONTRIBUTORY FACTORS TO CHAVEZ'S RE-ELECTION
The elections took place against the backdrop of strong economic growth with Venezuela’s economy growing at 6% in the first half of 2012. It left recession two years ago.
New social policies which address the ongoing needs of Venezuela’s poor majority have also continued. For example in the past year alone 250,000 new social houses have been built and state pensions made available for all. These policies are deeply popular, explaining why pollsters gave Chavez a 60% approval rating in the run up to the election and also the election result.
You can see my interview on Venezuelan TV news here: http://multimedia.vtv.gob.ve/es/#!/videos/noticia/nacionales/britanicos-apoyan-modelo-economico-venezolano